There's good news for a West Michigan family who couldn't get their $50,000 handicap accessible SUV back after taking it in for repairs.
After our story aired, the family was able to pick up the truck and donate it to charity.
13 On Your Side tracked it down at Broadmoor Motors in Caledonia. Owner Matt Koning said he didn't know much about the vehicle when he purchased it a few weeks ago at an auction. "So we just buy vehicles like this when we can and sell them. We didn't know the back story."
That story started when Sean and Christina Mulhearn purchased the new 2015 Honda Pilot for their son, John, who had cerebral palsy.
A few weeks later, the unthinkable happened: John passed away. "We were dealing with the grief of losing our 15-year-old son," said Sean. The family didn't use the vehicle until 2016. That's when they realized it had mechanical problems and took it back to Allegiant Mobility, the company that did the modifications. Over the next year, they got excuses as to why it hadn't been fixed.
"I think they're stalling; I don't know what to think," said Sean.
After our story aired in November, and the Mulhearns got the vehicle back. It still wasn't fixed and it didn't start.
They donated it to Paralyzed Veterans of America and its Wheels Helping Warriors program. The non-profit organization auctions off the vehicles and uses the money to help veterans with benefits, jobs, and medical services. Brad Coleman, Program Manager says, "We did receive over $16,000 for this donation. It was the largest to date this year. The proceeds go to our national organization. Then we do a 50/50 split with local chapters."
Back at Broadmoor Motors, we told Matt Koning what happened to the Mulhearns. "It was a pretty touching story and sad story", said Koning. Now, he and his team are going over the vehicle to determine what needs to be done. The handicap modifications seem to be okay, but there are several mechanical issues. It also looks like someone put a liquid, other than gas, in the tank. "This is a 2015, it shouldn't have anything foreign in the tank."
Because modified vehicles are very expensive to buy, Matt says he would like to get the Pilot back in working order.
He thinks it's the right thing to do for the Mulhearns and their son. Ultimately, he would like to get it back into to the hands of someone who needs it.
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